STOCKHOLM, Sweden, October 15. THE first day of finals is complete at the FINA World Cup stop in Stockholm, Sweden. Sweden's Therese Alshammar and Australia's Kenneth To had the best evenings as both cashed a pair of first-place checks to run their earnings to $3,000 each.
South Africa's Chad Le Clos, however, remained the top cash earner so far with $11,500 for three nights of work in the first three days of the World Cup circuit. Germany's Marco Koch ($6,000), Austria's Dinko Jukic ($4,000) and Italy's Samuel Pizzetti ($4,000) remain the top four in the men's earnings for the circuit. To, meanwhile, moved into the top 10 with his $3,000.
The top five among the women only had one small change from Dubai. Sweden's Petra Granlund ($5,500), Ukraine's Daryna Zevina ($5,000), China's Liu Xiaoyu ($4,000) and The Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo ($4,000) are still among the top four, while Japan's Izumi Kato ($4,000) moved up into the top five with a second-place $1,000 tonight. Alshammar, like To, moved into the top 10 with her $3,000.
Women's 800 free
Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto picked up the first cash prize of the weekend with an 8:20.78 to win the distance freestyle event for the day. That gave her $1,500 to start off the weekend. Great Britain's Eleanor Faulkner finished in second with an 8:21.19 for $1,000, while Sweden's Gabriella Fagundez took third in 8:37.69 for a quick $500.
Finland's Laura Lajunen (8:45.01), Rebecca Ekelund (8:49.85), Sweden's Elsa Ericsson (8:51.53), Sweden's Madelene Andersson (8:57.29) and Josefine Hippi (9:00.62) rounded out the final heat of the distance freestyle event.
Men's 100 free
Sweden's Stefan Nystrand captured the first men's check of the evening with a $1,500-winning 47.08 in the sprint event. That's the second fastest time in the early short course season with James Magnussen owning the top swim with a 46.82 from July. Canada's Brent Hayden cleared $1,000 with a second-place 47.27, while Australia's Matthew Abood took home $500 with a 48.16.
Sweden's Petter Stymne (48.35), Australia's Eamon Sullivan (48.36), Portugal's Tiago Venancio (48.77), Sweden's Lars Frolander (48.93) and China's Shi Yang (49.31) also competed in the finale.
Women's 200 free
Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom and Australia's Angie Bainbridge pushed each other to new heights as Sjostrom (1:52.92) and Bainbridge (1:53.03) posted the top two swims in the early season thus far. Kylie Palmer had owned the previous top time with a 1:55.07 from July. Sjostrom became just the eighth member of the sub-1:53 club by downing Josefin Lillhage's Swedish record of 1:53.55, while Bainbridge nearly clipped Palmer's Australian record of 1:52.96 from Worlds last year. Germany's Daniela Schreiber rounded out the podium with a $500 1:55.44.
Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos (1:56.34), Great Britain's Rebecca Turner (1:57.13), Sweden's Ida Marko Varga (1:57.23), Sweden's Petra Granlund (1:57.51) and Sweden's Gabriella Fagundez (1:57.96) finished fourth through eighth.
Men's 50 breast
New Zealand's Glenn Snyders touched out Norway's Alexander Dale Oen by nearly the slimmest of margins, 27.04 to 27.06. Meanwhile, Norway's Aleksander Hetland placed third with a $500 27.13. Germany's Marco Koch just missed out on adding to his $5,000 from Dubai with a fourth-place 27.47.
Sweden's Jakob Dorch (27.56), Niklas Tour (27.89), Korea's Choi Kyuwoong (28.11) and Canada's Andrew Poznikoff (28.35) also swam in the finale.
Women's 100 breast
Sweden's Jennie Johansson gave the hometown crowd a second straight female swim to cheer for with a 1:05.27 to capture the $1,500 check. That swim pushed her to third in the early season standings, while China's Sun Ye placed second tonight in 1:05.65. Korea's Kim Hye Jin completed the podium with a $500 1:06.18.
Japan's Kanako Watanabe (1:06.44), Australia's Sally Foster (1:06.52), Sweden's Joline Hostman (1:06.88), Korea's Darae Jeong (1:07.92) and Norway's Katharina Stiberg (1:08.13) made up the rest of the championship field.
Men's 400 IM
Sporting a pink cap, South Africa's Chad Le Clos became the first person to clear $10,000 during the World Cup circuit this year. With his 4:03.10, he pocketed another $1,500 check – his seventh so far, to move to $10,500 for the series. That swim smashed his previous top time in the early season rankings of 4:04.58 from Dubai. Japan's Daiya Seto claimed $1,000 with a second-place 4:03.33 for second in the rankings, while Hungary's David Verraszto posted a $500 4:03.45 for third in the rankings.
Japan's Yuya Horihata (4:09.83), Germany's Marco Koch (4:18.07), Great Britain's Matthew Johnson (4:18.34) and Sweden's Erik Persson (4:23.81) made up the final heat, while Japan's Hidemasa Sano drew a disqualification.
Women's 100 fly
A previous overall World Cup winner, Sweden's Therese Alshammar hammered the 100 fly with a top time of 55.99. That swim came up just half-a-second shy of her all-time third-ranked Swedish record of 55.53. China's Lu Ying finished second in 56.44, giving Liu Zige's Chinese record of 56.13 a run in the process. Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom cashed her second check of the evening with a $500 56.95 to move her overall winnings to $2,000.
Norway's Ingvild Snildal (58.31), Sweden's Martina Granstrom (58.43), Sweden's Petra Granlund (58.90), China's Gong Jie (59.02) and Germany's Theresa Michalak (59.23) also competed for the title.
Men's 100 back
Based on his first morning of qualifying, Australia's Kenneth To is looking at a profitable weekend. This evening, he followed up that preliminary session with a $1,500 check for his 52.07 in the men's 100 back. That swim puts him third in the early season rankings. Norway's Lavrans Solli finished second in 54.13 for $1,000, while Sweden's Mattias Carlsson placed third in 54.46 for $500.
Switzerland's Flori Lang (54.49), Great Britain's David Gregory (54.55), Sebastian Holmberg (54.68), Niklas Borin (55.02) and Pontus Renholm (55.22) also vied for the crown.
Women's 50 back
The Aussies went 1-2 in the sprint back as Rachel Goh led the way with a $1,500 26.63. That swim cleared her previous top-ranked time of 26.82 from July. Belinda Hocking finished second this evening in 27.08, while Magdalena Kuras wound up third with a 27.55.
Japan's Kanako Watanabe (27.68), Switzerland's Ivana Gabrilo (28.47), Ida Lindborg (28.82), Natasha Sundin (28.82) and Jessica Eriksson (29.21) rounded out the field.
Men's 200 fly
South Africa's Chad Le Clos suffered his first defeat of the series with a second-place finish behind Japan's Hidemasa Sano in the distance fly event. Sano claimed a half-second triumph over Le Clos, 1:51.33 to 1:51.88, to earn his first check of the circuit. Le Clos' run of first-place finishes stopped at seven, but he has finished in the money in all eight of his events. He now has a total of $11,500 in his third evening of work during the World Cup circuit. He won't be able to replicate Randall Bal's 21-for-21 from a few years ago, but he's definitely on pace to make some serious cash. Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski earned $500 with a third-place 1:53.93.
Serbia's Velimir Stjepanovic (1:55.03), Korea's Chang Gyu Cheol (1:55.45), Sweden's Simon Sjodin (1:55.48), Brazil's Lucas Salatta (1:56.00) and Hungary's David Verraszto (1:59.67) also swam in the finale.
Women's 200 IM
Canada's Erica Morningstar rolled through the women's medley event with a triumphant time of 2:07.90. That effort secured $1,500 for the Canadian. Meanwhile, Japan's Izumi Kato became the first female to cash a check in both Dubai and Stockholm with a second-place time of 2:08.46. That swim added $1,000 to the $3,000 she won in Dubai, for a running tally of $4,000 thus far. Korea's Choi Hye Ra placed third in 2:09.39 for $500.
Germany's Theresa Michalak (2:09.55), Korea's Kim Seo Yeong (2:09.64), Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto (2:11.46), Sweden's Sara Thyden (2:12.30) and Sweden's Ida Sandin (2:12.92) placed fourth through eighth in the final.
Men's 400 free
Germany's Paul Biedermann cruised to $1,500 in the middle distance affair with a 3:43.45, while Serbia's Stefan Sorak cashed $1,000 with a second-place 3:45.09. Pal Joensen of the Faroe Islands earned $500 with a 3:45.50 to round out the podium.
China's Zhang Zhongchao (3:46.38), Gustav Lejdstrom (3:50.65), Brazil's Marcos Oliveira (3:51.78), Great Britain's Thomas Sunter (3:53.54) and Serbia's Velimir Stjepanovic (3:57.24) finished fourth through eighth in the event.
Women's 50 free
Sweden's Therese Alshammar remained on fire, this time hitting the wall in 23.80 for the win in the splash-and-dash. That swim came up just half-a-second shy of Marleen Veldhuis' world record of 23.25, and provided Alshammar with another $1,500 check to bring her running tally to $3,000 for the night. Australia's Angie Bainbridge cashed her second $1,000 check with a second-place 24.57 for $2,000 on the night, while Claire Vilshed placed third with a 24.84 for $500.
Canada's Chantal van Landeghem (25.11), Sweden's Michelle Coleman (25.13), Australia's Sally Foster (25.16), Magdalena Kuras (25.27) and China's Zheng Yifei (25.36) comprised the other championship finishes.
Men's 200 breast
Japan went 1-3 in the distance breaststroke with Naoya Tomita winning in 2:05.13, moving to second in the early season rankings behind Marco Koch's 2:04.97 from Dubai. Koch nearly picked up the gold-medal earnings after storming from a second behind at the 150-meter mark to finish second in 2:05.25. That swim gave him $1,000, and $6,000 overall for the circuit. Kazuki Otsuka wound up taking third in 2:06.36 after posting a qualifying time of 2:07.44 that ranked him third in the world.
New Zealand's Glenn Snyders (2:08.81), Canada's Michael Brown (2:09.11), Great Britain's James Kirton (2:10.42), Hungary's Akos Molnar (2:10.71) and Canada's Andrew Poznikoff (2:12.58) finished fourth through eighth.
Men's 100 IM
Australia's Kenneth To moved his overall winnings to $3,000 with his second win of the night. He clocked a 52.02, just missing his top-ranked time of 51.93 from July. Japan's Yuma Kosaka took second this evening in the sprint medley with a 53.80 for $1,000. Kosaka now has $3,000 in winnings after earning $2,000 in Dubai. USA's Tyler McGill cracked into the money column with a $500 54.38.
Norway's Aleksander Hetland (54.53), Brazil's Lucas Salatta (54.79), Japan's Yuya Horihata (54.95), Great Britain's Lenis Coleman (56.08) and Daniel Lundahl (56.36) also swam in the finale.
Women's 200 back
No one could touch Australia's Belinda Hocking as she raced to victory in 2:05.76 to add to her cash winnings. With two podiums tonight, Hocking has earned $2,500 overall. Canada's Brooklyn Snodgrass finished well back in second with a 2:08.47, while Sandra Hafstrom placed third in 2:08.68.
Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto (2:09.28), Ida Lindborg (2:12.11), Norway's Veronika Bjorlykke (2:13.19), Linda Eriksson (2:15.07) and Sofia Svensson (2:16.95) finished up the rest of the championship swims.
Men's 50 fly
Australia's Geoff Huegill became the first man under 23 seconds this year with a top time of 22.70. That swim cleared the previous top-ranked time of 23.09 clocked by Mitchell Patterson in July, and gave Huegill $1,500 for his efforts. McGill finished a profitable span of two races in which he claimed $1,500 with a second and third-place finish. In the sprint fly, he took runner-up honors with a 23.58. Sweden's Lars Frolander also earned some cash with a $500 23.76.
Portugal's Tiago Venancio (23.87), Korea's Chang Gyu Cheol (24.04), Pontus Flodqvist (24.28), Austria's Martin Spitzer (24.30) and Sebastian Holmberg (24.36) also swam in the final.